Following on quickly from last night’s controversial defeat at Alfreton, Paul Caddis next takes his side up to Chorley in Lancashire this weekend.
Much has happened to Chorley over the summer. They weren’t promoted so predictably lost their two goal scorers and their senior defender. Less predictable was the club being bought out by Prince Yemoh. Strange one. I may be over sensitive here about any new club owners lacking any obvious linkages. Yemoh is 37, graduated in architecture at Manchester University and is a director of ten London-based companies. The link to Chorley isn’t obvious and the company used to make the takeover has since been dissolved without even filing accounts. If Yemoh is active at the football club and making changes, it’s certainly not being publicised. I may be overthinking this change but it doesn’t feel comfortable.
Chorley do now lack a regular scorer with both their former strikers both in Step One.
Wide man Justin Johnson (27) has the most in 23/24 with 4. He rarely gets that many in one season. That said, Chorley are collectively far more prolific than Hereford which is probably why they sit outside the playoffs. Also significant are a hard core of 4 midfielders who have all made over 100 appearances for Chorley. These days that’s a lot of games for one club. Overall, they retained 13 players from last season’s play off squad so continuity will help. Cheekily, they sent back two loanees in the summer and have apparently loaned them back again.
Our opponents have picked up exactly the same number of points away than at home so maybe there is an opportunity for us there. However, it’s no victory in three Victory Park matches for Hereford. On the pitch this season, Chorley beat title contenders South Shields 2-1 last night and have also won against Kings Lynn and Bishops Stortford – most clubs do – drawing with Brackley and Scunthorpe. The surprise result so far being a loss to Warrington.
One familiar name will be striker Nathan Abayomi Delfouneso, especially to Jordan Lyden as they were team mates at Villa Park. 32 year old Delfounso has 460 games to his credit, 31 of them in the Premier League. He’s hardly played at our level before but needs must I suppose. Over the last 3 years he’s been more out of football than in it. Meanwhile ex Bull Harvey Smith is now the clubs senior defender, so much so that jokes about his horse is wearing very thin. Smith wasn’t in the squad for their last game so may be injured.
Do buy tickets in advance. To sit or stand adult tickets are £14 in advance. Concessions are £11 which as well as seniors also include all emergency service workers. Expect to pay £4 more on the day. Average gates at Chorley are just under 1,100, virtually the same as last season. No new owner bounce there.
On the same “do buy” theme, the club catering is probably the best in the division, all based around the famous Chorley pie. If I don’t mention it, club photographer and former Chorley resident Andy Walkden will take me to task. He’s offered to buy Paul Caddis a seasons worth if the Bulls can win this one.
If you can’t make the game, do tune into BBC Hereford & Worcester or Radio Hereford FC.